ExhibitionAug 25, 2023-Aug 25, 2030
Three giant, blue flowers will greet visitors on their way out of the Nobel Peace Center. The acclaimed artist duo Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano are showing in Norway for the first time.
Oversized flowers installed in human environments are a recurring motif in the joint practice of Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj and Spaniard Álvaro Urbano. The installation Forget-me-not (2023), crafted in stainless steel and painted canvas, at the Nobel Peace Center suspends three forget-me-nots above the staircase, visible for both passersby and visitors in the building. It is the first time a work by the artist duo is shown in Norway. The installation will be a permanent part of the visitors experience when the Nobel Peace Center reopens after refurbishment in August.
Individually, both Halilaj and Urbano have established themselves as talented artists with strong artistic practices, but they have also worked and lived together since 2014. They are interested in the entanglement between nature and human-made structures, and how they affect each other. Together, the duo draws on their personal and collective histories to create new environments, exploring and negotiating the space between human and the natural world. Both of their practices incorporate personal and playful elements that inquire and challenge societal norms. Forget-me-not (2023) belongs to a body of work representing specific flowers the artists exchanged over the course of their relationship, scaled up to become eternal monuments of shared memories. In this way, a private moment of affection and care grows into an expression of queer love that reclaims its space.
Petrit Halilaj (b. 1986) graduated from the Brera Academy in Milan. His practice is deeply rooted in the consequences of the political and cultural tensions of his homeland, which he often takes as a point of departure to create counternarratives for the future.
Álvaro Urbano (b. 1983) explores notions of space, utopian architecture, and the environment. His interests frequently intertwine narrative, reality, and fiction, entangling stories and landscapes through installation and performance. He graduated from Institut für Raumexperimente at Universität der Künste, Berlin.
The two artists live and work in Berlin. Together, they have shown their work at Ocean Space in Venezia, Palacio de Cristal in Madrid, Quadriennale di Roma and Brücke-Museum in Berlin, among others.
About the artwork
Forgetmenot was unveiled at the Nobel Peace Center 11 May 2023. The work is a permanent installation and will be available to the audience from 25 August, when the center reopens after refurbishment. In the meantime, visitors can enjoy the artwork from the outside, through the window from the Museum square. The work is financed and curated by KORO. Lights are donated by Signify.